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The Interview Checklist

We’re rolling along through the winter semester, and for PR students like me (and probably a lot of other students as well), that means it’s time to start looking for a field placement or summer job. So you’ve brushed up your résumé and cover letter, but are you ready for when that call for an interview comes? I’ve got a few questions that you should probably ask yourself before you head out to meet with your potential future employer.

  1. Do you look the part? That mustard stain down the front of your shirt? Not cute. You always want to look the part, and that includes a clean, appropriate outfit. As the saying goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” especially since many of us are students who currently don’t have a job at all. Plus, it’s okay if you’re a little bit more dressed up than your interviewer – it just shows you’re taking the role seriously.
  2. Do you know where you’re going? You’d never want to get lost and turn up late for your interview – talk about a bad first impression. Make sure you look up exactly where you’re going and leave yourself plenty of time to get there.
  3. Did you practice some potential answers beforehand? Obviously you’re not psychic, but you probably have a pretty good idea of what employers will want to know about you. Think of some strengths or examples of when you showed valuable skills that you can talk about, so you aren’t blindsided by your interview questions. This will also help avoid that awkward silence that occurs when you’re stumped trying to come up with an answer.
  4. Do you have questions prepared for the interviewer? A lot of students mistakenly think that an interview is just for an employer to drill them about their qualifications, but interviewers want you to ask questions too! Come prepared will several that you could ask and show that you’re really interested in the position and you were attentive during the interview.
  5. Do you have your thank you cards ready? Often neglected, but can potentially be the deciding factor on you getting the job = your thank you. The interviewer is taking time out of their day to meet with you, and the least you can do is offer them a nice, handwritten thank you card to let them know you appreciate it.

If you feel like you still need extra practice, Career Services offers a ton of great resources, including mock interview appointments (and they’re free)!

Kayley Cheung, Class of 2015
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